Thursday, August 6, 2009

Town Hall Meeting on Proposed Monarch Tax Abatement

Dear Friends,

I will be holding a town hall meeting this coming Thursday, August 13, at 7:00 pm at the duCret School of Art (1038 Central Avenue in Plainfield) to discuss the administration’s proposed ordinance to give a residential tax abatement to the developer of the Monarch condominium property, located on East Front Street.

This issue has generated a lot of interest in the Plainfield community. I have received numerous emails, telephone calls, and blog comments from constituents who have expressed grave concerns about this proposed ordinance (as have my council colleagues). In a previous post, I stated my opposition to it (see below).

However, I feel that it is important to have a public hearing to get feedback from you, Plainfield residents and taxpayers, before the ordinance goes to second reading on Monday, August 17.

Residents and taxpayers deserve a forum to be heard, where your concerns are the focus of the meeting, as opposed to a brief “privilege of the floor” at a council meeting. After all, we are elected to represent your interests. I want to be able to clarify for you what abatements are about, and how this one (designed for residential buyers) differs from the usual abatements.

Although I am the Third Ward councilman, this meeting is, of course, open to all. It is the first of regular town hall meetings that I will be setting up for my Third Ward constituents. You asked for real transparency in city government, and I pledged, when elected, to provide that transparency, along with honest, ethical leadership. You, the residents and taxpayers, have to live with the decisions made on your behalf by this governing body, so it is incumbent upon us to give you an opportunity to weigh in on those decisions before they are finalized, and to play an influential role in the future of Plainfield.

What happens at the council table will affect all of us for years to come, so I hope you will be able to attend and offer your opinion on this important ordinance.



Town Hall Meeting

Hosted by 3rd Ward Councilman Adrian Mapp

Topic: Monarch Tax Abatement Ordinance

Thursday, August 13, 2009

7:00 pm

duCret School of Art

1038 Central Avenue, Plainfield


olddoc said...

Adrian such a meeting is good. You are assuming, since you could be in the know, that the ordinance as defective as it is will not be withdrawn Monday night.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that the council would ignore the wise counsel of the people who have weighed in on this. All the councilors who have been blogging about this have requested more real data, facts, figures--I'm guessing pie charts, longitudinal study type information, real cost-benefit analyses--in a word, specifics on why an abatement is necessary for this project and no other before they would ever vote "yes" in a second reading. I just can't believe the mayor would have the nerve to even put forth this ordinance. Why does this guy or do these prospective homebuyers deserve what the rest of us have not gotten? If a home buyer needs a 40% tax abatement for 5 years in order to be able to afford one of these condominiums, I would suggest that that homebuyer look in a slightly lower price range, or negotiate a lower price. That's what any sensible person trying to purchase a home would do. As someone else commented on another blog, if this developer isn't prepared to take a loss, he is in the wrong business. My taxes shouldn't go to subsidize his risk in this situation. Real estate developers and speculators are always saying the sky is falling. Most municipalities don't fall for their song and dance. He knows the market is slow, and that it will take time to sell these units. But he knew THAT when they were built. If he didn't, then he's plain foolish. He has a reserve. What data has he brought to the mayor that she would come and beg the council to bail him out? Where can I get hold of that data? My house took about 5 months to sell, but it sold--not for as much as I wanted it to sell for, but it sold.
I look forward to the meeting.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, councilman. Just WHO is this residential tax abatement supposed to attract? What kind of fish are supposed to bite at this offer? My concern is that it will attract more sub-prime buyers, people who will be at mercy of unscrupulous lenders. I know of many lenders who have "cooked" the paperwork to make a buyer look more attractive on paper, but then the person ends up not being able to afford the place. I submit that anyone who would move into the condo just to save some taxes over a 5 year period is someone who might not be able to afford to live there.

I also submit that the administration will pull another bait and switch, offering a 20% or 30% percent abatement over say, 2 or 3 years, to make it more palatable to people who think that the 40% over 5 years is too much. My words of advice--resist the abatement altogether. This administration is batting zero. All they want to do is putting up housing, housing, and more housing. We don't have the services to support all the proposed new units they want to develop, several hundred at last count, unless we hire more cops, more firemen, more PMUA workers, more teachers, build another middle school, and then take on the burden of more taxes to pay the benefits and pensions and salaries of all this potential new personnel! I think that it's all about giving contracts to favored developers so that they can give campaign donations and contracts back. Look at what happened 2 weeks ago. I fear for our city with this administration and the real mayor, Jerry Green, pulling the strings, while his are pulled by the lady who heads the UCIA>

Anonymous said...

Thank you for having this meeting, Councilman.

Too bad the administration doesn't care as much about their employers opinion.